Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

75 corporation. Shareholders who chose to enroll only in a regional corporation were known as at-large shareholders. They received stock in the regional corporation because they withdrew their rights to village shares. However, this became a point of contention because Alaska Native people born after the act did not receive shares. They could only acquire shares by inheritance or court order via child custody disputes or divorces (Ongtooguk, 1986). ANCs are separate from tribal governments, which can self-govern. The corporations only have powers to own collective property and develop infrastructure. Given the massive resources controlled by the ANCs, their interests can conflict with the objectives of these tribal governments. For example, in the cases of mining, drilling, and other resource-based activities, developers would need to go to the regional and village corporations to make their argument to the board of directors rather than to the elected officials of the village tribe, who might have a different perspective on the value of the proposed project. Congress confirmed that “all claims against the United States, the State, and all other persons…based on claims of aboriginal rights, title, use, or occupancy of land or water areas in Alaska are as a result of this (ANCSA) extinguished” (Ongtooguk, 1986). Congress established the Alaska Native Fund, worth $962.5M in 1971, which has increased to approximately $6.5B as of this writing: $462.5M came from the US Department of the Treasury through a series of payments and the remaining $500M from a revenue-sharing plan from natural resource and mineral rights. The distribution of the Alaska Native Fund, specifically whether it is equitable or not, is a debate that continues to characterize the politics of Alaska. ANCs received a total of approximately 45.5 million acres of land (ANCSA, 1971). Village corporations prioritized choosing the surface estate of roughly 30 million acres. Next in line were the regional corporations, which received close to 13 million acres. Lastly, 2 million more acres were set aside for historical places, gravesites, and use by Alaska Natives who did not qualify to receive land. Shareholders of the corporations can vote using their corporate shares if they decide that specific resolutions, the appointment of a board of trustees, or the undertaking of new investments would be in their best interest (Anderson, 2007). Village corporations could opt out of the land selection and continue to own the subsurface title to their current reservation when the bill passed. However, the stakeholders of those village corporations had to give up their right to receive any Alaska Native regional corporation stock and disqualified themselves from receiving other benefits through ANCSA. Ultimately, only four significant Alaska Native reservations chose to keep their existing land (Anderson, 2016). Some ANCs have been financially successful, while others have barely broken even, and a few of them have even declared bankruptcy (Blum, 2021). This discrepancy suggests that these corporations may benefit from business consulting, legal support, and bankruptcy mitigation efforts. There also should be contingency plans set in place for when businesses fail to protect the cultural and political interests of the Native American communities. Additionally, shareholder education should be promoted, specifically, knowledge of corporate resolutions, passage of by-law amendments, and via election of competent directors and officers who reflect the values of Alaska Native communities. ANCs are lobbying (and some are going further by filing lawsuits) for more lenient conservation and national park boundaries to benefit from the immense natural resource potential, while at the same time taking into consideration the ecological ramifications of these developments. The creation of nonprofit entities, such as local tribal units or regional and village corporations, which are not focused solely on revenue but also prioritize the nonfinancial, physical, and cultural well-being of Alaska Natives, may prove beneficial. For example, mission-oriented organizations could work on projects that may not yield short-term financial benefits but benefit the community long term, such as education, infrastructure, and cultural preservation. Specific Challenges of ANCSA Despite its advantages, ANCSA is by no means perfect. The act has its shortcomings, especially regarding 1) legal protection for Alaska Natives for their subsistence living,